During the past year I've been using Gravity Sketch VR to sketch out some of my paintings. I started 2021 using a new software (videogame?) that I wanted to try for a while: Dreams by Media Molecule. The big difference is that this one run on a Playstation!
It's such a powerful piece of software though, with some of the best tools I've ever seen in a 3D application. The only limit is that at the moment you can't export your geometry out of the console, so it is not possible to move your geo to Blender or Maya, for example. If you just need the images though (and not the geo), you can just save them out!
The set includes Magic Hour and Runaway Rain. They are both from 2020 and representative of the nostalgic 90s anime influenced style that emerged in my work over the last couple of years.
Magic Hour is the smaller print of the set. The sheet measure 8.5 x 11" or 25.5 x 19 cm. The image is 10 x 7.5" or 25.5 x 19 cm. The paper I chose is the Hahnemühle William Turner, 310 gsm, 100% cotton. It is a traditional mould-made watercolour paper with a fine yet highly pronounced felt structure that gives the print a striking depth and three-dimensional effect. The William Turner paper is acid and lignin free and meets the most exacting requirements in terms of age resistance. The image is printed with Canon's Lucia Pro pigment inks, that guarantee archival quality and durability.
Runaway Rain is the larger sister. The sheet measures 19 x 13" or 48 x 33 cm. The image is 14¼" x 11½" or 36 x 29 cm. The paper I chose for this one is Hahnemühle Museum Etching, 350 gsm, 100% cotton. This heavyweight paper has a finely textured surface with a fine felt structure that lends the print added depth and a soft tactile feel. Like the William Turner it's acid and lignin free for the most exacting requirements for age resistance. This print also uses archival quality Lucia Pro pigment inks.
I'm giving the option to purchase both Magic Hour and Runaway Rain framed and matted. I selected a wood slim flat custom frame, silver color.
The matte color is white ice.
The custom weighted bottom mats elevate the pieces with added elegance and breathing room.
I edited together a video that shows the painting process I'm using right now. I start with a VR model made in Gravity Sketch. After that, I move to Blender where I do a quick lighting and shading setup. Finally I start painting in oil. Check it out!
I decided to paint this super charming house after visiting the Planting Fields Arboretum in Long Island this past summer. I took some photos during the visit but instead of using them directly as a reference, I recreated the whole environment in VR with my Oculus Quest.
The Japanese rap duo Chelmico served as inspiration for the character design. I discovered them because of the 'Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken' anime opening song. The rest of their repertoire is really cool too! I was looking for some characters dressed up as painters and Chelmico often use this kind of working suits.
VR and Blender
I started using VR for work at Netflix, and decided to incorporate it in my painting work. Having always worked with traditional 3D softwares like Maya I was really impressed to see how fast you can model a vast environment using VR. Blender has been a lot of fun as well: as a Maya user, Eevee is such a pleasure to use. That is after you get past the initial learning curve! The hotkeys and interface weren't actually too difficult to learn but since I still use Maya for animation, it's still pretty hard to switch from one navigation system to another.
It may seem like a complex workflow but in the end the most time consuming part of the process is still the actual oil painting part! Especially in a scene like this with all the dense foliage, flowers and vegetation. It took me almost 2 weeks of full time - crunch mode work!